25th Jul2018

‘End Trip’ Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Dean J. West, Aaron Jay Rome, Ashley Lenz | Written by Aaron Jay Rome, Eric LeBlanc | Directed by Aaron Jay Rome

End-Trip-poster

A movie focusing entirely on an Uber (or URyde as it is here) driver doesn’t exactly sound like the most interesting of ideas. And explaining that it’s a bit of a twisted horror movie might make that sound better or worse. But that’s the clearest explanation I can give for End Trip.

For the first half (and more) of End Trip we are basically in a car with its driver and the passengers he picks up. After the first few we meet a man who tells the driver (Brandon) to take him wherever he wants to go. He wants to get out of the house he is living in and needs time to think and talk about his life. From here we just get a lot of dialogue between the two characters, so it’s a good job that actors Dean J. West (the passenger) and Aaron Jay Rome (the driver – Brandon) are both excellent in their roles. Not only are they very good but they show great chemistry together on screen and the scenes in which they become friends in a matter of hours are both believable and enjoyable. End Trip is as good as it is because of its two lead performances. The only downside to this is that once they aren’t on screen together as much, the movie isn’t quite as good.

The script is strong, with a few twists and turns that only on second viewing will you probably appreciate. The ‘horror’ element in End Trip isn’t an obvious one. It’s about someone who might seem relatively normal but is far from that. And the more the film goes on, the more this ‘horror’ becomes apparent. And with like so many good genre films, all of the scary stuff comes in the last twenty minutes or so.

Lead actor Aaron Jay Rome also writes and directs. He is inexperienced but it doesn’t show. On what is a low budget and a movie that doesn’t have any action sequences or ‘big’ scenes, End Trip still looks great. The cinematography is very good, shots of someone driving around New Orleans has never looked so good.

To speak about the movie in more ways than the driving would give away too much. But it is very clever at times and I was never quite sure where things were leading. There are a couple of moments of gore. These are well shot to make them violent but without lots of blood. Things are quick and brutal.

There is also an interesting look at social media and how it can be used by people in not very nice ways. Which is something that is becoming more and more relevant.

End Trip is an original, dark and massively interesting film that creates horror from something we see and do every single day. Aaron Jay Rome is a very talented guy and I look forward to checking out whatever he does next.

**** 4/5

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